Two Years Ago: US Destroyed Much of Yemen Village, Killed at Least 30 Civilians

Botched raid was the start of Trump-era intervention in Yemen

With Congress still trying to find a way to successfully extricate the United States from military involvement in Yemen, the two-year anniversary of the first Trump Administration operation in Yemen, the attack on the village of Yakla, is approaching.

In late January of 2017, President Trump signed off on a SEAL Team 6 raid of the village of Yakla, in Yemen, which the administration initially presented as an “al-Qaeda headquarters.” In reality, it was a botched raid that ended up destroying most of the village.

Most reports that followed the attack estimated the death toll around 30 Yemeni civilians. Locals said over 50 people were actually killed, though the US has presented at least some of the victims as al-Qaeda, and for awhile tried to argue that the slain women and children were enemy al-Qaeda fighters.

Early administration revelations to the media on the raid touted it as a huge success, despite the large civilian death toll, suggesting it netted a lot of intelligence. This ultimately was proven untrue, with officials conceding about a month later that they didn’t get any significant intelligence out of Yakla.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of